Intel Arc Alchemist Refresh GPUs: Linux Drivers In Progress?

“Intel’s Arc Alchemist GPUs Get Linux Drivers with Vulkan API Optimizations”

Intel has introduced new drivers for its Arc Alchemist GPUs on Linux, incorporating optimizations tailored for the Vulkan API. One notable benefit of these optimizations is the significant performance boost, with, such as F1 2022, experiencing improvements of up to 45%. However, what’s grabbing attention is the added support for several graphics cards that have not been officially announced.

While Intel has officially completed its Arc graphics card lineup, leaks in the Linux drivers suggest the existence of “new” Alchemist Refresh GPUs. These “Refresh” versions entail minor enhancements, similar to Intel’s Raptor Lake Refresh, with slight frequency increases while maintaining the same architecture and manufacturing process. This indicates that the Linux drivers may already incorporate support for these upcoming GPUs.

Intel has revealed its intention to launch five new Intel Arc Alchemist Refresh GPUs alongside its Linux drivers. These GPUs are identified through their PCI IDs, representing Intel Arc Alchemist graphics cards that remain shrouded in mystery. Given Intel’s leaked roadmap, it’s likely that these GPUs are part of the Arc Alchemist Refresh lineup, expected in the second half of 2023. While Intel has yet to confirm this, speculations point to a possible unveiling in early 2024, possibly at CES in Las Vegas, starting in January.

As for what to expect from the Intel Arc Alchemist Refresh GPUs, there are limited details available. Unless there are unforeseen surprises, the architecture and manufacturing process are likely to remain the same, with substantial performance improvements expected with the Intel Arc Battlemage GPUs, anticipated in the second half of 2024.

Returning to the main focus, Intel has introduced FCV optimizations for Gen 12.5+ graphics on Linux, particularly concerning the open-source Vulkan graphics API in Mesa 23.3-devel. These optimizations have resulted in notable performance enhancements, such as the remarkable 45% improvement seen in F1 2022. Mesa 23.3’s stable version is set to arrive later in the year. Additionally, Red Dead Redemption 2 also witnessed performance gains, albeit a more modest 6% improvement.

These optimizations will be appreciated by Intel Arc users, even though they remain relatively few. However, the significance of these enhancements becomes more apparent when considering Intel Meteor Lake processors, set to debut next month with Intel Arc Alchemist graphics sharing the DG2 Gen 12.5+ graphics architecture. This support will be particularly valuable for laptops equipped with Meteor Lake processors, running various Linux distributions.

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